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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/5566/liberty-and-the-warfare-state/

Liberty and the Warfare State

September 5, 2006 by

Robert Higgs has a well-deserved reputation as an eminent economic historian, but in this collection of essays and interviews, he shows himself an adept moral philosopher as well. He subjects the “humanitarian” case for the Iraq War, unfortunately professed by some self-styled libertarians, to withering scrutiny. FULL ARTICLE

{ 49 comments }

Roger M September 5, 2006 at 9:52 am

I haven’t read Higgs, but quotes in this article don’t impress me. Higgs is befuddled by American foreign policy because he actually believes the straw man that he created and is dueling with. The main reason for invading Iraq was that Hussein had broken the treaty he signed for ending the first war and had committed several acts of terrorism against the US. The WMD and humanitarian arguments were just gloss. Higgs knows that. He decided to be dishonest about it in order to make his argument seem more powerful than it is.

The 2003 invasion of Iraq was just the completion of the first. I thought the first war was totally unjustified and a huge blunder. The second and bigger mistake was leaving Hussein in power. Those two mistakes forced us to correct them with the invasion of 2003.

As for the disproportionate killing of civilians, I suppose Higgs would think that our killing 3% of the Japanese and 10% of the German population in WWII not proportional to the 2,500 we lost at Pearl Harbor. But this just shows Higgs complete ignorance of warfare. If we followed Higgs, we would all live under Japanese and German dictatorships today.

M E Hoffer September 5, 2006 at 10:13 am

Roger M,

With this: “…and had committed several acts of terrorism against the US.”– Which were they?

And, this: “…he actually believes the straw man that he created and is dueling with.”–Where do you see these?

Also, this: “I haven’t read Higgs,…”–is something, in my view, you should rectify.

Tim Kern September 5, 2006 at 10:14 am

The point most discussions of this “war” miss is that it is no more legitimate a “war” than the War on Poverty, or the War on Drugs.

Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 of the Constitution is clear that Congress alone declares war. The President cannot; nor is there anything in the Constitution that allows Congress to delegate this authority or abrogate this responsibility to the President, or to anyone else.

The sad fact that we have precedent (under at least presidents Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, and both Bushes) does not make the Constitution less valid; it in fact merely points out how irrelevant our rulers consider it.

Additionally, since it is clear that we don’t have an actual, legal, constitutional war, it follows that the President’s claims of special “war powers” are moot. Unfortunately, so are any “economic” discussions based on the false premise that there is a “war.”

While it is unquestioned that the activities of war are taking place, that people are dying — those facts do not allow us somehow to set aside the law, and construct an illegal framework for discussion.

We might as well discuss the economics of any other illegal activity.

My view: I’m against giving illegal activity (whether institutionalized through ignorance, inattention, or corruption) the status of legitimacy that we do here. When we discuss the economics of illegal activity, we must address it as such — as we would discuss the economics of illegal immigration, or illegal drug trafficking — by discussing first the economic sense of the law, and of following it.

Only by first recognizing the activity as illegal in the first place, can we fairly address the economic ramifications of that activity. Should we follow the law, or move to amend it? Either way, we must not simply follow the example of our ruling class and ignore it.

quasibill September 5, 2006 at 10:17 am

“But this just shows Higgs complete ignorance of warfare. If we followed Higgs, we would all live under Japanese and German dictatorships today. ”

If anyone recently displayed their complete ignorance of warfare, it is you. That second statement is such a bald-faced piece of untrue propaganda that it is laughable. Please, inform us of how Japan could ever have held any U.S. territory. Please, inform us of how the Nazis could have ever gotten troops across the Atlantic, much less held any territory here. Of course, all that is ignoring the fact that neither nation ever expressed any intention of invading the U.S., but as long as you’re living in fantasy land, I’ll give you those two fantasies.

As for your comments on Iraq – what terrorist acts did it commit against U.S. territory? What “forced” us to do anything? As for breaking the treaty, should we be invaded for the treaties we break, such as the one regarding notifying foreign embassies when their nationals are tried for capital crimes?

Like all statists, your sloppy use of language gives you away instantly. Nothing “forced” us to do anything. We chose to invade Iraq of our President’s own free will. The President gave many rationales for it, and I’ll take his word for it. The one that he and his administration repeatedly emphasized was the WMD angle. He has specifically denied that there is any evidence linking Iraq to 9/11. Are you saying they were/are lying?

alepuzio September 5, 2006 at 10:48 am

I have a doubt about the libertarian idea about he war in general (not only in Iraq’s question): the libertarian are against the war in every situation?
I know from a few of time Mises and Rothbard and I have understood that the libertarian can to go in war only against other only soldiers. But is’nt very much utopic? Karl von Clausewitz in the her book “About the War” (“Von Kriege”) has demonstrated that in war is not possible the libertarian position with a little possibility of winner.

M E Hoffer September 5, 2006 at 11:08 am

Tim,

With this: “…does not make the Constitution less valid…” — you may care to research the date: 3/9/1933.

Vince Daliessio September 5, 2006 at 11:12 am

Hi alepuzio,

My understanding of this is that under a libertarian order, self-defense is permissible, aggression is not. The dividing line is that aggression is a matter of simple trespass. Mere threats do not constitute trespass except in extremis.

I wrote about my own epiphany, oddly in concert with the assessment of the Supreme Commander of the Japanese Navy, Admiral Yamamoto, who said, flatly, “You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind each blade of grass”;

http://www.libertyguys.org/home/detail.asp?ArtID=973

I think it’s a pretty good summary.

Peter September 5, 2006 at 11:28 am

“Either way, we must not simply follow the example of our ruling class and ignore it.”

Why’s that? The “law” you speak of is nothing more than the opinions of some group of thugs who happen to have power. If you didn’t sign up for it, by all means ignore it, if you like!

billwald September 5, 2006 at 11:29 am

My personal and unsubstantiated opinion is that Bush started the war because most every president wants to go down in the books as a war winning president, to jack up the price of oil, and as part of a plan to give his friends, the Saudis, control of all Arabian oil.

Vince Daliessio September 5, 2006 at 12:06 pm

Roger M said;

“The 2003 invasion of Iraq was just the completion of the first. I thought the first war was totally unjustified and a huge blunder. The second and bigger mistake was leaving Hussein in power. Those two mistakes forced us to correct them with the invasion of 2003.”

Ridiculous, inconsistent, and wrong. First you assert that the 2003 invasion was not a new imperial venture, but simply the continuation of an older one. Then you assert that a treaty ended the first war. Then you argue the US had to Z”correct” the leaving of Saddam Hussein in power, after you ALREADY STATED that the first invasion was a “blunder”.

What is the point of such a post? We had no business in Iraq, which is the first point you made, before all the apologistic gobbledygook you wrote after.

Roger M September 5, 2006 at 3:07 pm

Alepuzio”…the libertarian are against the war in every situation?” Your mostly correct. They allow for self-defense, but not an organized one.
Had libertarians run the country in 1941, we’d all be speaking German or Japanese today!

Vince Daliessio September 5, 2006 at 3:16 pm

Roger M, who appears to delight in being wrong today said:

“Had libertarians run the country in 1941, we’d all be speaking German or Japanese today!”

Hard to list all of the ways this is wrong, but I’ll start;

1)Libertarians don’t want to “run” the country. They want each person to be able to run their own life without interference.

2)There was never any possibility that the Germans or Japanese could have conquered the US. NONE. Yamamoto, arguably the best and brightest military commander of the war, admitted it forthrightly.

3) The majority of Americans, until Roosevelt goaded the Japanese into attacking Pearl Harbor, were overwhelmingly against involvement in another European war. While not libertarian, most were isolationist until manipulated into changing their views.

4) The Russians were going to crush Germany sooner or later. They ultimately were the decisive force that won the war, since Stalin consumed Hitler’s men, equipment and materiel at a frightening rate.

Roger M September 5, 2006 at 3:23 pm

ME Hoffer,
The terrorist acts of Saddam Hussein include a plot to blow up airliners over the Pacific which was foiled by Philippino security, an attempt at assassinating President Bush, the first WTC bombing, and the OKC Murrah building bombing. Also, he had a training camp in Baghdad that graduated an estimated 3,000 terrorists. Then he murdered about 100,000 Shia and tens of thousands of Kurds after the first war. These aren’t my opinion, they’re facts established by separate investigations and known to all well-informed people. If you’re not familiar with these, start by reading the 9/11 congressional report.

How does Higgs build a straw man? He knows all of the above and he knows that Hussein broke every point of the treaty he signed, massacred his own people, and shot at every US/UK aircraft that flew over Iraq no-fly zones. He chooses to ignore those and focus on the two weakest arguments for invasion.

Roger M September 5, 2006 at 3:46 pm

Vince: “There was never any possibility that the Germans or Japanese could have conquered the US. NONE.” That just shows your ignorance of WWII. The Japanese came very close to defeating us at Midway. Luck (or Divine intervention) saved us. Had they won at Midway, an invasion of California would have been easy. Having a gun behind every bush would have been no help against aerial bombardment and artillery.

I’ll concede that we didn’t need to fight the Germans; the Russians had them whipped. We did help shorten the war. But the Germans kept U-boats in the Gulf of Mexico and all over the Atlantic coast sinking tons of our ships. Had Hitler not listened to his Air Force general and tried to bomb the UK into submission, but instead invaded, he could have defeated the British quickly when they were weakest and then begun on us. At any point he could have concluded a peace treaty with Stalin as he had before the war.

M E Hoffer September 5, 2006 at 4:17 pm

Roger M,

Just for clarification, are you saying the Saddam=OKC link was admitted in the 9/11 congressional report?

Roger M September 5, 2006 at 4:39 pm

“…Saddam=OKC link was admitted in the 9/11 congressional report?” No. Two journalists working independently made that link and was confirmed by intelligence analysts. Congress will be investigating it this Fall.

Sione Vatu September 5, 2006 at 7:58 pm

Roger M

Once again you worship at the altar of violence and killing. And again you use the imperial “we”.

“We” fought the Germans. “We” invaded Iraq. “We” cluster bombed those children into meat and bone splinters. “We” starved the cities and towns and country people for a decade etc.

Since you have identified yourself as being involved with waging the violence (WW2 and various conflicts right up until the present), you have to accept responsibility for those decisions and actions, as well as the consequences. After all, you claim to be of the “we”. Therefore you (personally) are now one of those “we” who are fair game for retribution. You are a target. You are in the war, a part of it, a “volunteer for the gallows” (Szasz would say).

For you to bear the direct cost of the decisions and actions of violence you promote is fair enough. It is not good that people who are not involved get collateralised by you or those who want to partake in war with you.

So stop hiding like a coward among the innocent population. You should do the right thing; paint a big “X” on your forehead, wear a T-shirt with “CRUSADER” stencilled on it and go sit out in the Iraqi wilderness somewhere so that when your opponents come for you they don’t hurt anyone else.

“We” indeed. What conceit. You speak only for yourself little man.

BTW I note you have not even bothered to read Higgs. In other words you do not understand his arguments. Challenges against your faith in maiming and killing other people (especially foreigners and ethnics) seem to attract little from you other than expressions of emotion. Better to go read what the man has to say and think on it.

Sione

PS You really think Saddam was responsible for the Oklahoma bombing? Wasn’t that accomplished by citizens of the USA (at least one of whom was a graduate of the US military)? The situation reported was that the leader of the bombing group, one Timothy McVeigh (who served in the First Iraq War under President Bush Snr and not Saddam), sought retribution on the BATF for a massacre of Christian Fundamentalists at Waco in Texas. How did Saddam get involved in sectarian violence between Christians in another country?

Vince Daliessio September 5, 2006 at 9:23 pm

Roger said;

“The Japanese came very close to defeating us at Midway. Luck (or Divine intervention) saved us.”

The Japanese had just as good a claim to any island in the Pacific as the US. I doubt God or any other sentient being honestly believes that the importance of Midway extended beyond the reduction of Japan’s navy by attrition.

“Had they won at Midway, an invasion of California would have been easy. Having a gun behind every bush would have been no help against aerial bombardment and artillery.”

The Battle of Midway, though epic, had nothing whatsoever to do with whether the Japanese could have invaded California. The Japanese supply lines would not have allowed its main fleet to get anywhere near the mainland, and it would have been eradicated in short order if it had. And you have to get onshore to use artillery.

In other words, your position is logically ridiculous, as is the insinuation that Saddam Hussein had anything to do with any terrorist act inside the US.

Which is an accusation that strangely only surfaced in semi-official circles in the lead-up to the illegal, criminal invasion of Iraq by the US, and is always just on the cusp of being revealed, proven, etc, etc, like the non-existant WMDs, etc. etc. etc.

In fact, name any evil act Hussein allegedly performed, and I will give a counter-example of where the US did at least as evil a thing, if not more. Not like I like to think I am a citizen of an outlaw nation, but we are nonetheless.

Bill September 5, 2006 at 9:28 pm

The biggest issue here is hinted at near the end of the article. That is: War is the ultimate expression of state power over the individual. The state in a war decides who gets killed. It decides who does the killing. It uses its resources to frighten a people into believing its lies. Lastly, it uses all of this to shed its sole legitimate function which is to respect the rights of citizens to life(it sends “contracted” individuals to their doom.), liberty (it takes away rights of citizens and spies on them.) and happiness (it restricts the relationships citizens have with people inside and outside it borders and waters down the currency paying the military industrial complex for the war.).

If war and the state were so important then our “leaders” would be willing to spend their own money on it and stop having the rest of us foot the bill.

bstender September 5, 2006 at 10:03 pm

Invading Iraq was a demonstration to all who would stand in defiance of the Empire, an air show/gladiators diversion for the masses and a necessity for the survival of an oil-intoxicated Empire. It was also a wet dream for the Zionist/Millenial nut-jobs who actually administer the empire and payday for the patrons of BushCo.

All remaining moral standing of this Empire was blown in the venture and the leadership is too devoid of same to care. The logic of Capitalism backs their position 100%, dragging virtually every denizen of the Empire into full sub-conscious support of the debacle.

Libertarianism without social awareness is more or less the Bush government. Happily, Higgs seems to compehend this very well.

Sione Vatu September 5, 2006 at 11:22 pm

bstender

You obviously have not read much of Von Mises or Rothbard or Reisman. Had you done so your profound ignorance of the principles of Capitalism would not be evident today.

Capitalism is not a system of thought or ideology that “backs” the waging of wars such as the invasion of Iraq “100%”. Nor does Capitalism support the decades long imposition of “sanctions”.

Your attention is drawn to the descriptions and definitions of what Capitalism actually is written by the three authors cited above. Also recommended is the material available on the Von Mises Institute website (at no cost). Go do your homework.

Sione

PS Bush and his governmeht as Libertarian! Stop taking those pills man.

bstender September 6, 2006 at 12:49 am

Capitalism is not a system of thought or ideology that “backs” the waging of wars such as the invasion of Iraq “100%”. Nor does Capitalism support the decades long imposition of “sanctions”.

only in a text-book world could one elevate Capitalism to a lofty state. in the real world you get the USA circa 2006 with terminal consumption and the subjugation of Iraq. it is the driving force in the breakdown of the social contract and with Earth itself. if i distort a textbook definition of Capitalism, I reject it in lieu of the ‘facts on the ground’. which is that, ‘power rules’, the weak are irrelevant. “Capitalism” is no more than an elaborate apology for this cold law of the jungle.

i am not so arrogant to say that Capitalism is “wrong”, mind you, as it may be that it simpy expresses the facts on the ground of the current state of human development, stupid as it is. perhaps there will be some improvement in the identification with community in the next “homo”. though they will probably screw that up somehow too!

Sione September 6, 2006 at 1:19 am

bstender

While you may not be arrogant enough to say Capitalism is wrong, you are arrogant enough to assert it to be something it is not. What you are describing in your email is not Capitalism. Your attention is drawn to the material available at no cost to you on the Von Mises Institute web site. For a better understanding of Capitalism it is recommended you avail yourself of this material. Remember, willful ignorance is not a virtue.

If you are serious about understanding what it is you are talking about why not invest in a copy of Prof George Reisman’s book “Capitalism”? That’s an exhaustive overview of the facts for you right there.

Sione

PS Social contract! Breakdown with the Earth itself! Such mumbo jumbo. Now I know you are on the pills.

Ted Seay September 6, 2006 at 8:01 am

My major problem with Higgs is highlighted in the last paragraph of Mr. Gordon’s article: Peace is not a “value”; peace is a temporary lack of organized killing and destruction. (And don’t get me started on books written with “searing passion”; Marx did pretty well on that score, too.)

Which leads me to my next point — if libertarians only allow self-defense as a legitimate state function, what should the U.S. self-defense force look like in this day and age?

Given the residual threat of old nukes and the growing array of new aspirants, given the continuing claims of nationalism and militant Islam on neighboring territories and peoples, given Secretary Rice’s plea that we not allow the next smoking gun to be Chicago, where, with what, and how can the U.S. (or any other nation-state) legitimately defend itself?

If your answer starts off with “Inside its own borders,” I submit that you’ve been too busy watching Seinfeld and his ilk over the past decade or so…

TGGP September 6, 2006 at 8:24 am

As an isolationist, I was always opposed to the Iraq War (both of them!), and I even believed they had WMDs before the second. However, I think Higgs goes wrong at several points in the article. He says that we cannot know the future, so we cannot justify an invasion by saying the alternative would be worse. Engaging is counter-factuals is part of being human. All of our actions take place under uncertainty, and Higgs’ objection, taken to its logical conclusion, would rule out all actions. You shouldn’t have written that book, Higgs, someone might beat a puppy with it!

I cannot for the life of me imagine a worse strategy than for libertarians to claim the war on terror is “made up”. Good luck convincing the terrorists on that one. Stop the presses on that beheading video, Abdullah! We’re not at war with the jews and crusaders after all, we have always been at war with Eurasia! Point out where the government goes wrong, but stay the hell out of delusional crackpot land where all evidence other than your fevered imagination is just disinformation pumped out by the conspiracy to convince us of [insert here].

While Iraq didn’t really pose a threat (Saddam may not have been bright, but he was smart enough not to risk his hide pissing us off after the first war), Higgs stumbles when he mentions the blockade as evidence that they couldn’t. Japan attacked us AFTER we blockaded them. Hawaii is still part of America. Germany was deliberately kept militarily weak and loaded with debt after the WW1, but it still managed to take over much of Europe. Russia grabbed a big chunk too (and kept it) even while Stalin was seemingly doing everything he could to sabotage their war effort. Iraq wasn’t a threat after the first gulf war because it was only a threat to its neighbors before it.

The most laugh-out-loud part is when he uses the paltry performance of the government in dealing with terror as evidence that it’s not really a problem. Is he familiar with libertarianism at all? I’ve got a solution for every problem: make it the governments responsibility, they’ll do a lousy job and q.e.d there is no problem!

bstender September 6, 2006 at 1:02 pm

Sione, it is disingenuous to dismiss my point by insisting that i simply haven’t obtained the proper understanding of your belief system. you’re creating a circular argument no different than a Christian insisting that the world’s problems are the result of people who don’t accept the word of their Lord. If you tell them that their system creates problems, for example, sexual perversion, and they respond by saying that the perverts haven’t read the Book well enough, then no debate is possible.

What, pray tell, would you blaim for the declining state of society and the environment at the hands of your beloved system. Arabs? immigrants? Is it not the goal of the Capitalist to amass power and dominate, and that the pinnacle of the art is to minimize costs by any means necessary? does this not inevitably include crimes against society and the environment? Does this not create ‘every man for himself’ contentious relationships as opposed to cooperative ones?

The success of American capitalism is due largely to this rapacious strategy. As great as it has been for the victors, it is clearly unsustainable and it is a source of much misery for the majority of sentient beings. The war in Iraq being the most recent case in point.

Sione September 6, 2006 at 6:10 pm

bstender

What I am bringing to your attention is that you lack certain knowledge (in this case about the nature of Capitalism).

Since you are posting to a blog hosted by the Von Mises Institute (VMI) which is an organisation that promotes principles of Capitalism, why not do some research and find out what the VMI is supporting? Start by learning what Capitalism actually is. On this VMI site you will find plenty of material available to you at no cost. It’s all there for free. How good is that? All you have to do is read it and think about it. Or is that too tough for you? Easier for you to rely on some mumbo jumbo you picked up somewhere (who ever thought an Islander would tell a “civilised” American to stop repeating mumbo jumbo- how the world has changed!).

Quoting: “What, pray tell, would you blame for the declining state of society and the environment at the hands of your beloved system. Arabs? immigrants? Is it not the goal of the Capitalist to amass power and dominate, and that the pinnacle of the art is to minimize costs by any means necessary? does this not inevitably include crimes against society and the environment? Does this not create ‘every man for himself’ contentious relationships as opposed to cooperative ones?”

This is silly but it does illustrate your approach. What you are demonstrating is a half-witted ability to argue but what is missing from you is substance. Let’s take a look at what you have done.

You start by constructing a sentence that asks and answers a question. “What, pray tell, would you blame for the declining state of society and the environment at the hands of your beloved system [?]” You’ve answered your own question. The sentence is really an assertion. You are not after an answer from me at all. Your mind is already closed. You blame an alleged declining state of society and the environment upon my “beloved system” while pretending to be asking a question seeking the cause. You are asking what to blame for the decline blamed on that which you have already blamed! In essence your sentence instructs me to blame alleged badness supposedly suffered because of “my system” on “my system.” I reject that as false. I blame you for a dishonest question and a dishonest mind.

Is the state of society declining? It may be where you are but it isn’t here. Perhaps the government is out of control in the USA with things like Patriot Acts, Wars on all-sorts (drugs, illiteracy, homelessness, racism, poverty, savings, crime, terror, freedom,…), inflation, compulsory state operated education, Medicare, social security and so on. Perhaps the people you live with are involved in telling lies, stealing from each other, committing indecencies, violence, subjugation and whatever it is you guys get up to. You are making assertions that there is a decline of a particular society. In order to engage in a sensible and logical discussion about that you’d need to cite evidence and proof.

You also assert the environment is declining. It may be where you are but it isn’t here. Perhaps the government is out of control in the USA with things like Federal and State laws that allow govt departments and favoured organisations to pollute, destroying other people’s property in the process and allowing no recourse. Perhaps the people you live with are involved with destroying the environment that surrounds you. You are making assertions that there is a decline of a particular environment. In order to engage in a sensible and logical discussion about that you’d need to cite evidence and proof.

BTW I don’t blame Arabs and immigrants for your alleged troubles (are you a racist or some sort of National Socialist or what?).

You post continued with this piece of nonsense: “Is it not the goal of the Capitalist to amass power and dominate, and that the pinnacle of the art is to minimize costs by any means necessary?”

The answer is no. And you are challenged to research the facts by reviewing material on the VMI site and by reading Prof Reisman’s book, “Capitalism.”

You write: “does this not inevitably include crimes against society and the environment?”

Capitalism is not a crime and does not include or require the commission of crimes. Again, you are challenged to research the facts by reviewing material on the VMI site and by reading Prof Reisman’s book, “Capitalism.”

You write: “Does this not create ‘every man for himself’ contentious relationships as opposed to cooperative ones?”

No, but collectivist approaches such as socialism do achieve such results. I rather suspect your view (and definition) of Capitalism a socialist one. You really should do the research that has been recommended for you. Otherwise all you are going to be doing is continuing to make dishonest baseless assertions.

Sione

Sione Vatu September 6, 2006 at 6:39 pm

TGGP

Here is a question for you. In a non-emergency situation you have to decide whether or not to carry out an organised act of violence which is going to result in the deaths of thousands of innocent people and leave many others injured and impoverished. Given that you do not know what the outcome will be other than the deaths, injuries and impoverishment mentioned above, do you go ahead with your violent plans? Higgs says no. What about you mate?

Sione

Artisan September 7, 2006 at 4:30 am

And why make it a non-emergency situation? Let’s talk the real thing. The German supreme court wisely ruled after 9/11, that it was not legitimate for the military to shoot a hijacked passenger plane, even though knowing it would be the only solution to prevent it to crash on a strategic target and possibly cause the death of many more people as a consequence.

Do libertarians understand why?

Sione September 7, 2006 at 8:50 am

Artisan

OK. Fair enough. You can add an emergancy situation to the question as well. So now it would read: “You have to decide whether or not to carry out an organised act of violence which is going to result in the deaths of thousands of innocent people and leave many others injured and impoverished. Given that you do not know what the outcome will be other than the deaths, injuries and impoverishment mentioned above, do you go ahead with your violent plans?”

I had something particular in mind but you are probably correct with your approach.

Sione

PS. You ask a good question. I’d like to submit an answer for consideration but prefer to wait until after TGGP (or anyone else who is interested) has had the opportunity to respond to what I asked. Please bear with me.

TGGP September 7, 2006 at 9:43 am

Sione, your question is pretty vague. However, you stipulate that it is “non-emergency” which I take it to mean that we can be reasonably sure that non-action will directly result in neither deaths nor injuries. In that case, I say don’t kill and injure the people (whether the act of violence is organized or disorganized shouldn’t matter too much, although I suppose the predictability of one would be different from the other, but your question was not about predictability).

If we are talking about a hijacked plane that I believe will be crashed into a populated area, I would choose to shoot it down over an unpopulated area.

bstender September 7, 2006 at 11:34 am

What I am bringing to your attention is that you lack certain knowledge

yes, you’ve asserted that three times now. but i never asked you “where can i read about capitalism? ” i’ve made statements and asked questions which, if you had some of your own opinions about, you might have just responded straight up and who knows, you might have made a persuasive arguement.

In essence your sentence instructs me to blame alleged badness supposedly suffered because of “my system” on “my system.” I reject that as false. I blame you for a dishonest question and a dishonest mind.

your pedantic paragraph is in your face. if you were honest, you would accept that 1. Capitalism is in fact the economic system under which we live and 2. many serious socio-economic problems appear to be directly traceable to that system. whether and/or why Capitalism is not in fact the culprit would be the honest response. my question was challenging, but not dishonest…honest!

You did at least address the notion of problems existing, though you simply deny that any problems exist (and humorously, you say that ‘if they do exist’, they are attributable to some other cause, probably ‘socialists’ or pick-your-bogey)

no matter, i am not on any anti-capitalist crusade, far from it, i don’t have a better idea for an economic system, i mentioned it only in the context of the Iraq adventure and how it has contributed to compel the nation to this deadly course.

MarineMan September 7, 2006 at 4:19 pm

Quasibill:

You stated “If anyone recently displayed their complete ignorance of warfare, it is you. That second statement is such a bald-faced piece of untrue propaganda that it is laughable. Please, inform us of how Japan could ever have held any U.S. territory.”

Let’s see, during World War II they landed and took the Phillipines (a US Protectorate) until we invaded and took it back. Ditto for countless other islands in the S. Pacific that were US Protectorates. And oh, there was that little Pearl Harbor thing… and if you read your history, they were very close to trying to hit the Navy ammo magazine in LA

“Please, inform us of how the Nazis could have ever gotten troops across the Atlantic, much less held any territory here.”

Umm, the Nazis regularly were less than 10 miles off the eastern seaboard of the US sinking shipping and putting saboteuors ashore. Perhaps something to think about (in anticipation of you pointing out that they weren’t able to invade Britain) is that the larger your coastline, the more opportunity to get troops ashore – as a Marine, I specialize in that type of thing…

“Of course, all that is ignoring the fact that neither nation ever expressed any intention of invading the U.S.”

Ummm, nore Poland, Czechoslovakia, France, Austria, Russia

Let me close by saying (been there twice, bought the t-shirt) that I am no fan of the current war in Iraq, nor do I think the guy you were responding to was especially euridite, just trying to point out some flaws in your thinking.

quasibill September 7, 2006 at 6:00 pm

Marineman,

You have done absolutely nothing to refute my points, and in fact, merely reinforced them. Spare me your argument from authority.

“Let’s see, during World War II they landed and took the Phillipines (a US Protectorate) until we invaded and took it back. Ditto for countless other islands in the S. Pacific that were US Protectorates. And oh, there was that little Pearl Harbor thing… and if you read your history, they were very close to trying to hit the Navy ammo magazine in LA”

Once again, read VERY carefully what I wrote, and you responded. Ask this question – did they ever threaten to hold actual U.S. territory? Not a protectorate or some island that was seized as a base to attack Japan, but U.S. territory? Then ask yourself, if striking an ammo dump is remotely related to holding territory. If you can actually answer those two questions, I might start to believe your claims to have been in the military.

“Umm, the Nazis regularly were less than 10 miles off the eastern seaboard of the US sinking shipping and putting saboteuors ashore. Perhaps something to think about (in anticipation of you pointing out that they weren’t able to invade Britain) is that the larger your coastline, the more opportunity to get troops ashore – as a Marine, I specialize in that type of thing..”

Once again, read, and think, VERY carefully what was said. Did the Nazis ever threaten to OCCUPY (I’m trying to make it easy for you here) any U.S. territory? Aw, heck. You shot your own argument in the foot by acknowledging they couldn’t even successfully cross the channel. If you are a marine, you must have been drummed out, ’cause I can’t believe they’d keep someone in that so fundamentally misunderstands the basic difference between holding territory and threatening sabotage.

“Ummm, nore Poland, Czechoslovakia, France, Austria, Russia”

oh. Okay, Maybe I need to revise my estimate downwards. Looks like you might not have made it past grade school, or else you’d know your geography well enough to recognize how ridiculously irrelevant that answer was.

Sorry, you pointed out flaws only in your own thinking, not mine.

Christopher H September 7, 2006 at 8:52 pm

I agree about the war, but not dismantling the military. Particularily his arguement about there not being a force that is anywhere near the one the United States has. However, China’s military and industrial might surpasses that of the USSR by far.

Artisan September 8, 2006 at 2:22 pm

TGGP
No doubt you would do that…

Now take this other analogy and tell me where you draw the line… then see if you can make a law out of it.

A class of little children crosses the street in front of you. You are standing nearby behind your very heavy friend, at the border of the road. Suddenly you see a biker coming fast from behind . That biker obviously doesn’t see either the light or the children crossing. Let’s imagine the only solution to spare the life of the children before they get hit was to quickly push your friend at once under the wheels of the motorbike…

You’d take that decision too, right? (conclusion: it’s dangerous to be friends with you…;-)

The reason why Germany ruled out such crazy decision is somehow understandable however:
The life of every innocent citizen is worth to be respected until his death. And guess what: democracy DOES NOT mean the absolute rule of majorities beyond EVERY individual right. So, nobody empowers a government to rule that two lives are worth more than one. The government has to PROTECT every single one of us w/o ANY calculation till the end. Human sacrifices are not allowed on the Government side says the German Supreme Court. A very libertarian decision I found.

M E Hoffer September 8, 2006 at 3:23 pm

Tim,

With this: “With this: “…does not make the Constitution less valid…” — you may care to research the date: 3/9/1933.”

I was referring to this:
http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/print.php?pid=14485

A state of affairs that is still in place…

Sione Vatu September 8, 2006 at 4:07 pm

TGGP

OK. Fair enough. Good decision.

So now apply that answer to the War on Iraq, the War on Afghanistan and even the War of Terror.

Prior to undertaking those acts of organised violence it was not known with certainty what the political outcome would be. Sure, there was plenty of hope about what it MIGHT be but that is not knowledge (or even a reasonable best guess). Contrast this uncertainty with what WAS known with certainty. It was known that many people would (and will) suffer impoverishment, injury or death should the organised violence be initiated.

Higgs is correct to argue that the War on Iraq can’t be justified on the grounds of a possibility that Saddam might, just possibly, perhaps maybe do worse to people than the war. He is not rejecting the argument for invasion solely on the basis of an uncertain knowledge of the future. He also rejects it for the certain knowledge that was already held. That is, that people would be injured, impoverished and killed. It appears he does not accept the justification of an ACTUAL evil act by the mere claim of a POTENTIAL good.

I presume your decision and answer to the question I posed runs along similar lines. If so you are agreeing with Higgs. That’s fair enough. (Note that this a much different context from writing a book. Surely the act of writing is not of itself an act of violence? Mind you, if you knew for certain the process of writing the book would kill people…)

Anyway, I’m glad you are an isolationist. It’s a moral position to hold. It certainly isn’t consistent with invading other people’s property or initiating acts of violence upon them.

Sione

Roger M September 8, 2006 at 4:11 pm

“… did they ever threaten to hold actual U.S. territory?”

You’re changing the subject there, quasimoto. What started this discussion was my comment that had the US been libertarian, we would be speaking Japanese or German today. That’s a hypothetical proposition. You’re demanding evidence from history that the Japanese or Germans actually held or threatened to hold any US territory.

The answer to your question is no, they never held any US terriroty, but that doesn’t mean they had no potential to do so, which was my allegation. They attacked Midway Island with some purpose in mind. The Japanese thought it was important or they wouldn’t have dispatched their best aircraft carriers to attack it. The Japanese got unlucky at Pearl Harbor because our aircraft carriers were out to sea. Had they destroyed our aircraft carriers at Pearl Harbor, we could not have defended Midway. Still, the Japanese almost beat us at Midway and sheer luck stopped them. Had they won Midway, nothing could have stopped them from invading California. We didn’t have the Navy or the Army to stop them and it would take another year for our production to ramp up.

Also, you’re arguing from history. Had the Japanese invaded, Americans at that time probably could have defeated them eventually. But I hypthosized what might have happened had those Americans been libertarians. No one in America at the time of WWII was libertarian, so they could and did defeat the Japanese. However, had most Americans been libertarians relying on hunting rifles and lacking the training of a professional army, they could never have defeated the Japanese.

The same could be said for the Germans.

My arguement was not how powerful or capable the Japanese or Germans were, but how weak libertarianism is when dealing with militarism like that of the Japanese.

Sione Vatu September 9, 2006 at 12:31 am

Roger M

Quoting: “My arguement was not how powerful or capable the Japanese or Germans were, but how weak libertarianism is when dealing with militarism like that of the Japanese.”

Your argument does not hold up. It is based on a flawed understanding of history (especially with regards to the war in the Pacific) but I’ll let that slide for the moment.

Your attention is drawn to comments and recommendations made by the Japanese military command (surely the leading experts on the subject of Japanese military invasions at the time). When pressed about whether an invasion of the US West Coast was a possibility. They denied it was. Their learned and studied opinion was that there would be a rifle behind every blade of grass. That’s about as accurate a description of a spirited Libertarian defence as one could find. Think about it.

Note that even impoverished peasants in third world countries like Vietnam and Somalia (let alone places like Afghanistan and Iraq) have demonstrated just how effective such tactics can be against standing armies. Even though these guys are poorly armed, badly trained and follow such silly ideologies as nationalism, communism, socialism and religion etc., they are still more than capable of putting up an effective defence of that which is theirs. More often than not, they win in the end.

BTW it is recommended you read a good history of Great Britain’s invasion of Afghanistan and how the greatest empire in history was frustrated and defeated. Your attention is also drawn to the concept of Fourth Generation Warfare.

Sione

PS so there were NO libertarians in the USA during WW2. Yeah right.

RogerM September 9, 2006 at 10:01 am

“Note that even impoverished peasants in third world countries like Vietnam and Somalia (let alone places like Afghanistan and Iraq) have demonstrated just how effective such tactics can be against standing armies.”

You mistakenly identify the victories in Vietnam and Somalia against the US, and in Afghanistan against the USSR to the power of militias. In Vietnam and Somalia, as well as current Iraq, the US chose to fight a limited war while the enemy chose to fight an unlimited one. In other words, we let them win. Had we used the same strategies against the Vietnamese and Somalis as we had against the Japanese, we would have won there, too, but it would have meant killing ten times as many of them.

The Soviets had completely defeated the Afghan resistance until President Reagan sent them Stinger missiles to knock out the Soviet helicopter gun ships. But even that wouldn’t have persuaded the Soviets to leave had not Gorbachev come to power. Gorbachev decided Afghanistan wasn’t worth the effort.

Libertarians make the same mistake that Arabs have always made and continue to make in the latest Israeli/Hezbollah skirmish: because a larger more powerful enemy decides to show some restraint, they think they have won a major victory. If you kill a million Arabs and leave one alive in a hospital with no legs or arms, he’ll still declare victory!

I sincerely doubt the Japanese high command were afraid to invade the US. If they weren’t afraid of our military, why would they fear our civilians with hunting rifles? As they did in China, they would simply have destroyed entire cities and everyone in them with naval, artillery and aerial bombardment. The Japanese didn’t understand the concept of limited wars that we have fought since Korea.

As for the impossibility of defeating Afghans, you should look a little further back in history. Mongols defeated and ruled
Afghanistan with little problem for centuries, as did Iran. The secret is a willingness to be brutal enough to make them lose the will to fight. British and Americans lack that brutality, but we had it durring WWII and so could defeat the Japanese and Germans because we weren’t libertarian.

TGGP September 9, 2006 at 1:33 pm

RogerM is wrong about there being NO libertarians in the U.S during WW2 (just none with any power), but he’s right about guerrilla warfare and brutality. The Turko-Mongolian strategy was devised just for that sort of thing, and it has a 100% success rate. In Vietnam is should also be pointed out that we never invaded North Vietnam, the country we were for all practical purposes at war with, and that despite what most people hear about the Tet offensive it was an unmitigated disaster for the Viet Cong, who never recovered their forces to pre-Tet levels before the U.S signed a peace treaty.

I remember once reading a book which claimed that war had changed completely, using the French experience as an example. They said that the more force and brutality the French used the stronger their opponents got. Nice propaganda, but the simple facts are that attacks on the French decreased with the use of brutality. It was the political reaction back home that got the French out. The effectiveness of a similar but less extreme approach for a smaller scale insurrection can still be seen nowadays. The use of brutality in the Hama massacre is what enabled Hafiz al-Assad to soundly defeat the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria. In Algeria itself the military government’s use of brutality far in excess of what was seen under the French has allowed them to hold onto power unlike their predecessors despite losing election to the Islamists. If anything the horrors of war have only made the government more popular.

Since that stuff doesn’t fit in the idealist libertarian paradigm of the undefeatable spirit of liberty driving the noble guerrila to victory over the oppressive state, they just imagine that the state just HAS TO gosh darn it keel over dead one day, and the French resistance would surely have sent the Nazis packing all by their lonesomes if those pesky Americans hadn’t butted in beforehand.

quasibill September 9, 2006 at 5:55 pm

RogerM is right about 1 thing (and so far, only that one thing): You have two choices in warfare – genocide, or limited warfare. Apparently, RogerM proudly picks up the Sickle and Hammer and Swastika and advocates genocide.

As for Japanese shelling our cities into ruins, well, as he has implicitly admitted, they were never going to do it, they didn’t have the logistics to do it (hint Roger, professional military is about logistics, armchair military is strategy – you broadcast your ignorance of logistics every time you post on this thread), and well, even their best artillery on their ships and their best planes launching off of aircraft carriers couldn’t have reached past California.

Furthermore, Roger, research WWII Pacific theater history more – this another subject you are broadcasting your ignorance on at full decibel everytime you post. Look how much it took for us to accomplish island hopping. Then ask yourself why we bothered (hint, it has to do with the other subject you broadcast your ignorance on), then look at what lies between Hawaii and the U.S. mainland.

Finally, I take it you have admitted that they NEVER intended, NEVER did, and NEVER even threatened, to hold U.S. territory. So, where in the Constitution is the power to wage war for the good of China, or British colonies? What was “defense” purpose after Midway? (of course, they weren’t interested in us at all until FDR helped embargo their oil, and supplied men and material to their opponents in China, but since we have to deal in your fantasy world, we’ll forget about that)

Sione Vatu September 10, 2006 at 7:51 pm

Roger M

How very selective of you. And of course there is your continued use of the imperial “we”.

The USA govt and military lost and were ingloriously ejected and that’s the fact of it. They lost. The defenders prevailed. There was an aspect that was fought on the “home front” as there always must be. For every person such as yourself who deified the state and the military there were several others who said “we spat on the baby killers when they came back”, who opposed the govt war activities, who sabotaged the ability of govt to wage war, who denounced the govt’s lack of moral authority. There was no consensus of “we” let “them” win. The fact was that many people were not supportive of the idea that the US govt should dispatch young men to commit acts of violence upon other people. There was no cohesive “we” in the USA that decided, “OK. We’ll let them win.” The notion is silly! Once again your view of the world as divided into goodies and baddies, us and them, blinds you to reality.

I note that for you the idea of “winning” involves killing more and yet more people. This is the total war ideology. The violence evolves as a series of escalations. Each round is marked by worse crime than the round preceding it. When frustrated by an opposition the thinking is to resort to yet more extreme acts of violence, ultimately, “Kill them all!” I note your explanation of what is necessary for this strategy to be undertaken; a government with the willpower and resources to be brutal enough. You should consider this in no way justifies the existence or need for government. It damns the very idea. The key point is understanding the role of government as the cause of wars in the first place. Thankfully more and more people in the US are realising it.

Turning now to Japan. Whose word should be accepted on the topic of an invasion by the Japanese military of the USA? I submit it is superior to accept what the Japanese military command of the time said about a WW2 invasion of the USA rather than your arbitrary mythology. As previously stated, they (not you) were the leading experts on the topic of Japanese military invasions. They understood that an invasion of the USA could not be undertaken. Whether they were afraid is not the issue. What you sincerely believe is simply irrelevant. The Japanese military command ruled out an invasion attempt as impossible. They identified the “rifle behind every blade of grass” as one problem too difficult for them to overcome. They would have been dealing with enemies more capable, better equipped, more resourceful, more productive and far more dangerous than the Vietnamese and Somalian examples.

I wrote: “Note that even impoverished peasants in third world countries like Vietnam and Somalia (let alone places like Afghanistan and Iraq) have demonstrated just how effective such tactics can be against standing armies. Even though these guys are poorly armed, badly trained and follow such silly ideologies as nationalism, communism, socialism and religion etc., they are still more than capable of putting up an effective defence of that which is theirs. More often than not, they win in the end.” There is no error in this. Even those backward outfits could and did successfully mount effective defence against invaders.

Note I also referred you to Fourth Generation Warfare (4GW). I would have thought you’d have checked up on it and come to the obvious conclusion. The point is that a Libertarian approach to defence is robust. It is also moral.

Is it really inconceivable to you that the very individuals who create and maintain the productive wealth and manufacturing capability of the economy by voluntary association and arrangement would be capable of organising for themselves effective resistance and defence against an invader? They do not require a govt to do it for them. All the presence of govt does is initiate invasions and start the wars in the first place. Better to avoid the trouble at source, eliminate the state. Kill off govt.

Sione

PS This comment is the product of a sick, small mind: “If you kill a million Arabs and leave one alive in a hospital with no legs or arms, he’ll still declare victory!” YOU really should visit Iraq and state that to the locals.

Sione Vatu September 10, 2006 at 8:15 pm

TGGP

Roger M is wrong about many, many things. There are dangers inherent in collectivism (make no mistake, he is a collectivist). Same goes for nationalism, racism & statism.

Is government justified by an ability to employ a powerful military of overwhelming violence, mass murder and utter brutality? Of course it isn’t. Yet you are seeking to justify that institution on the basis of the wrongs for which it is the source (100% effective murdering strategies and the like). The danger lies in the existence of a govt , not in the absence of govt.

Regarding defence. There are situations where a defence is untenable. If a military is well enough resourced and the command are ruthless enough to employ overwhelming violence with complete destruction and the killing of everyone in its path, it is possible for it to defeat pretty much anyone (providing the necessary resources have been acquired and the motivation to wage total war is present). In that case there is no defence that will hold, Libertarian or otherwise. That does not justify the existence of a govt. The existence of govts makes such crimes more likely, as the last century has demonstrated (in such a case the best thing for the civilised individual to do is leave- get out of there).

You do need to check your history. Who organised the TET offensive? Who sent the men and material and how was the battle plan developed? Check it out. The TET offensive allowed the govt of North Vietnam to see to it that potential Vietnamese rivals for rule in the South were eliminated. It was a govt betrayal of their own. Another reason never to trust a govt, even should you be “allied” to one. Nevertheless it signalled to the US govt and, in particular, the US people that Vietnam was unwinnable. In the end Vietnam was a complete 100% defeat for the US military. BTW you should read General Powell’s comments regarding their loss of the war in Vietnam.

As far as the French military in Vietnam is concerned. They lost. The French govt lost their war on Vietnam for several reasons. They lost at home (thankfullymany French people thought that a war on Vietnam was wrong and acted accordingly). They lost because the US govt betrayed them. Interesting that senior French govt officials and politicians stated they would never trust a foreign govt (especially the US one) in future! Ironic that. But, in the end, the French army was defeated militarily in the field (a serious loss, unrecoverable). They lost because the locals were more effective at defending what was theirs then the invaders were at taking it and keeping it. The locals just did not want French rule. They worked to end it. They repeated the feat with the US.

You really should check out Syria. When next you visit you will find that the political power of fundamentalist Islam is growing apace and remains the major threat to the secular system of govt presently in place there. It seemed to me that in the not too distant future the fundamentalist Islamists would be running that country. This is very bad news. And take note of the rise and rise of fundamentalist religious political power in Egypt, Saudi, Iran (obviously), Iraq, Algeria, Afghanistan (still) etc. More bad news. So much for massacres. Didn’t work out in the long run.

Go visit some of the places you so glibly write about. Find out what the locals say about things. Learn their history from them. Understand their view (whether it’s correct or not is another matter but right now you are not even in a position to know what they are thinking let alone judge whether they be correct).

You are misguided if you think you are going to be able to characterise the Libertarian view of defence as something as vacuous as your arguments. Do better. Consider this: Given the huge productive, manufacturing and wealth making ability that individuals can generate by means of private and voluntary arrangement, is it inconceivable they could defend what is theirs by private and voluntary arrangement? No govt necessary.

Sione

Roger M September 11, 2006 at 8:58 am

“Is it really inconceivable to you that the very individuals who create and maintain the productive wealth and manufacturing capability of the economy by voluntary association and arrangement would be capable of organising for themselves effective resistance and defence against an invader?”

Yes it is. Show me an example from history where they succeeded. There aren’t any of significance. Your idea that a stateless group of citizens will or can defend themselves is just fantasy. It’s nice to believe, but dangerous as well.

Bob Gerry September 11, 2006 at 6:46 pm

Hey guys,

This idea of self-defense and no aggression is fine within a nation for domestic affairs among citizens, but in this world those who are unwilling to aggress end up with first, an ocean at their backs, then they get to tread water while those who are willing to aggress laugh at them.

Where would I, or a person sharing my ancestry, be if my ancestors were not willing to commit aggression?

Such a person would have never existed, for his ancestors would have been slaughtered by the Mongol hordes in ca. 300 BC (or BCE), in central Asia.

We have this part of the American continent because our ancestors were willing to commit aggression against the indigenous population. Great numbers of innocent people were slaughtered, many more were destroyed by European diseases to which they had no immunity, and most of the rest were assimilated by interbreeding.
If I see my neighbor murdering his wife or kid, I may intervene, and I also have recourse to the criminal justice establishment, starting with the sheriff/cops.

But in international affairs there is no sheriff to call. It’s the posse system if one nation-state is unable to deal with a problem that won’t negotiate away, or feels it good for morale if its neighbor-states are invited to participate in some vigilante justice.

Bringing up the constitutionality of acts of the president is a smokescreen. “Honest Abe” Lincoln demonstrated that cannon and bayonets trump scribblings on parchment. The Constitution is trundled out when the regime feels it is good public relations to keep the revenue stream going. However, such scribblings will not be treated as a suicide pact by the regime. That is, the regime will not permit adherence to the Constitution to bring it down.

Every public official, federal and state, is required to swear to support and defend the Constitution. That they do. It is displayed on a pedestal within bulletproof glass and drops into a vault at night or if there is a threat, and there are hired security guards ready to shoot down anyone who threatens the musty old parchment.

Sione Vatu September 13, 2006 at 8:46 pm

Roger M

Funny how stateless groups of ex-British subjects, colonials, indigenous and other people operating by voluntary arrangement made the rule of the British Crown over significant portions of Nth. America untenable.

Sione

Sione Vatu September 14, 2006 at 5:32 pm

Bob

It is not possible to justify a crime on the basis that somewhere in history someone sometime committed a similar or analogous crime. To justify an action you must justify the action itself, not merely quote its occurrence.

You use the term “we”, but you speak only for yourself. You are only responsible for those decisions and actions in which you partake. For example, I am not a part of your “we”. I come from Polynesia, not USA. My ancestors did not commit the acts of aggression you attempt to justify. Even had they done so that does not mean that I am responsible or that I could justify such acts retrospectively. Avoid this error of thought. Forget about “we” and think about “I”.

The original essay that started this blog related to the impossibility of justifying invasions (such as that of Iraq) on the basis that the acts of violence and destruction to be committed during an invasion and subsequent occupation would somehow be “better” (more moral) than the acts of violence and destruction that may occur otherwise (if Saddam had remained in power). Attempts by statists and collectivists to justify such acts of organised violence failed. If you consider what is written in the original essay, read a bit of what Higgs says as well and THEN read the discussions above, it becomes clear that the “justifications” for invasion are really trivial excuses, nothing more.

As far as the US Constitution is concerned, here is a question: by what right did the framers of the Constitution draft it, sign it and then state that all persons in the colonies would be bound by it? Spooner was right! It’s a nonsense!

Sione

PS. As far as the US Constitution is concerned, here is a question: by what right did the framers of the Constitution draft it, sign it and then state that all persons in the colonies would be coercively bound by it? Spooner was right! It’s a con; a nonsense!

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